I’m home in Slovenia now, after a beautiful trip to Norway to visit family, to visit those high mountains and shining lakes. I ached to breathe that fresh, clear air, to be part of that wild sky I love so much. It rained heavily when we left to return to Slovenia, which made it easier to let go and cross the ocean to Denmark. I was weary too. It’s good to be back.
We drove along many narrow, winding roads in Norway, and I sat with a hand to my heart because all that beauty hurt me in a wonderful way. It felt like my heart was opening, like a creaking door.
There are mountains, forests, and lakes. Rushing waterfalls. There’s always a lake close to the road, shimmering in the sunlight, or the ocean itself, tucked between fjords.
We slept in a tent in the high mountain, where there are no trees, only moss and heather, and dark lakes. I was cold there and woke up in the night to see a billion stars above me, the silence of the mountain pressing against me, the sound of falling water trickling into my ears. We had camped close to a large patch of cotton grass which shone like drops of snow in the morning. I walked into the sun to warm myself and gathered a bouquet of them. They have such a simple, gentle beauty to them, and remind me of my childhood at our cabin.
I also gathered heather to bring with me home. I love its purple flowers, its honey scent, its fairy magic. It’s one of the loveliest plants I know. At times I felt I could hardly breathe going for walks, especially in the mountain, – there was just so much to take in. I became very silent, falling to my knees in worship…I curled up on the moss by a glittering lake, letting it fill my ears, my eyes, breathing in sweetness, the warm sun. I only wish there had been more time to walk further along those trails, to see where the next bend would lead.
I’m weary and full of happy memories, and some difficult ones too, which tends to go into the mix; But I’m learning to see moments of difficulties like gifts dropped into my lap, for me to hold and turn over, look at more closely. I try to remember to listen and to learn, even though it can be painful.
I felt the beginning of autumn in Norway. I saw how the birch leaves were turning yellow, how the mountain grass was a burnt bronze, and how dark the lakes seemed. I brought home teas and honey, so I will remember.
Even now I ache for the wilderness I knew, the darkness that seemed at the edge of everything. Maybe one day I will return to it and stay. But for now, I’m here, in a different kind of beauty. A gentler beauty, kinder with more flowers. And yet….and yet I feel I’ve left part of my heart behind, and I try to remember that winter is coming and that Slovenia is a better place to face it. Less dark, with sunny days closer together. It was in May this year that I felt such a deep longing to be in Norway, leaving me more restless the further along we went into summer, into the simmering heat. I needed the north then, to breathe colder air, to walk up into the mountains….I just haven’t found any place that makes me feel the same as those mountains, high up, close to the sky. The water there taste like starlight, and there are glaciers, shining blue in the distance. Kings and queens of ice and cold. But it is very lovely to be back in my own place, to rest. I feel refreshed and very tired. I want to listen. I sense I went through a story, a chapter in a book that makes up my own life, and I need to sort through all the lessons given to me and to know what to do next.
I wonder as I write this if what I long for the most are places almost untouched by people. Places untamed. I love the mountains because there’s almost no one there, only a few cabins, sometimes a road. You can feel nature speaking to you in its great, powerful voice, not tired out by people. In a way this makes me sad, because it makes me notice how polluted some places are, how beaten down. This is what I mean by wilderness. That place that is still brimming with spirits, magic, life. And at the same time, I feel that maybe I shouldn’t write this. There are so many lovely places. Places that touch my heart and fill me with beauty. But the mountain is different, – it shakes my soul.
Maybe the things we grew up with has a special place in our hearts.
I will go to sleep now, listening to the sound of rain and hopefully thunder. I returned home to mist and darkening mountains, which felt like friends. There are so many thoughts and feelings running through me. So many things have happened. I’m ready to welcome Autumn, dark and silence. Good night 🙂
And this, because it gives voice to the northern mountains, their chill and cold, and power
I’ve written several posts that I left in drafts. I don’t think I will publish them because they were too full of hurt and anger, grief. But it is better now. It always gets better. Just have to stand in the fire for a while.
I feel very blessed living in the place I live. So full of beauty. To go for morning walks and see the light in the trees, in the beautiful gardens, overflowing with flowers. I like to walk by the river especially. There is something about the water that calms me, soothes me. Without it, I feel parched. The other day I watched a small bird dancing on a rock. It was all black with a white chest. It flew into the water, diving, swimming around. I didn’t know it could do that. It seemed so full of joy.
The days have been less hot, and I welcome the cool air, the mist on the mountains, the wild thunderstorms. I hide away when it gets too hot. I’ve been circling by the butcher shop to get raw goat milk, raw butter. It’s amazing to find such things. Treasures really.
I have my desk where I can sit and write, my own little place finally. And I can see the mountains from my window. All blessings.
In the afternoon I curl up on my bed with a good book and my notepad. Sometimes I need a day when I can fill myself to the brim with writing. To step into the world of dreaming and stay for a while because it’s so easy to be shaken out of it.
She is perfume. She is rose sweet. She is love. The most sacred flower in the depth of your heart. Fragile petals opening in darkness. Strength confused as weakness. She is life, beauty. Love.
Sometimes I fall asleep to the scent of roses (or the feeling of that scent.)
I draw closer to her like this. My Divine Mother. I listen more. And I feel her showing me something that I can’t fully grasp because it goes so much against my stern ideas about life and love. But I want to believe what I start to glimpse inside of me. A truth I didn’t dare to believe in.
I feel letting in love takes courage. To be open and vulnerable. And being so loved, so near my Divine Mother makes me feel unworthy, very small, and yet deeply loved. It’s a strange combination, and it’s easy to run away.
I was reading a book about a girl who lost her parents and sister. And I felt myself in her. It made me feel how great my loss really is. How deep it goes. Deeper than I knew. I still think of my family with a pang of longing, that sense of being a tree in a winter forest, just starting to gather leaves. We can not turn away and forget. We have to walk through things, so I write. My main character goes through a great loss, but it’s easier to write about someone else. To look at things from a distance. And make her learn courage, faith, love, all the things I wish for.
The novel I’m working on is me piecing my soul back together, putting words and understand to my grief loss, without feeling too scared or overwhelmed.
This seems to happen so much. I write something and then I never post it. I’ve been wanting to blog more but I always feel too tired to do so. Many things have happened, but I’m starting to feel the ground beneath me again. I’m trying to love summer and not to wait wistfully for autumn. Anyway, here are some words I wrote a while ago:
The sun is fading from the mountains now, and so much has happened. A whirlwind of events, both magic and pain put together. I feel tired out and can only lie and look at the mountains outside my window, the deep emerald forests, the pale green fields between them. I’ve moved apartments again, and I love this new view from my bedroom window. From the right angle, I can pretend there’s only mountains and sky and me.
I’m in the middle of unpacking. Making a new home. A nicer home, hopefully. I’m also unpacking everything that has happened, holding the events in front of me, turning them over, looking at them. It feels like a breath out, these last few days. I want to close my eyes and rest and let go of the things that hurt me and hold onto those little gems hidden in everything that I went through.
And I’m a year older. I felt pampered on the evening of my birthday, after spending the day packing and carrying boxes up four flights of stairs. Luckily friends came to help. I feel very blessed to have beautiful friends around me. After sunset I unwrapped presents and ate a divine raw chocolate rose cake, with rose petals on top. And the sky was a delicate pink. A lonely star shone through it. A new year has begun.
That night my husband and I also moved into our new home, slept in our new bed for the first time. The next day it rained heavily. There were claps of thunder, streaks of lightning and rain that poured down heavily. I loved it. Loved how the sky darkened with clouds, and how the heat broke for a little bit. We watched it all from the verandah, with flashes of lightning around us, eating leftover cake.
The Summer Solstice
And the Solstice has come and gone. There was magic in it that I’m still unraveling inside of me. A group of us walked up the mountain to do a ceremony at the sunrise. The moon was a sickle in the sky, with Venus right beside it. The girls stopped beneath it, and washed our faces in the morning dew. We did the ceremony in white robes with golden sashes, wearing flowers in our hair, walking into a pink sunrise.
In the evening we gathered again, sang songs inside as it was thundering outside, and breathed the beautiful scent of calendula, the golden flower.
Hope you had a beautiful Solstice. Wishing you bright blessings onwards.
Summer is here and the days are hot. I stay out of the sun mostly, but in the evenings I drift through the fields, watching the moon come out. I brush my hands against pale blue cornflowers, bend down to smell them, see white daisies shining in the thickening darkness. Silver moths flutter by me, and there are cows grazing. I hear the sound of their bells and as I stop they raise their heads to look at me. Some come close to the fence to see if I have food for them, or perhaps they’re just curious.
Behind me, and sometimes in the distance to my right, I hear church bells ringing. They tell the time, reminding me that it’s later than it seems. The days are long now.
I feel those fields are an entirely different world now in summer. I first found them just before Christmas, silvered with frost. Now I breathe the scent of grass, and the air is warm even at night. I love that I can watch the stars come out, one by one, the moon drifting between clouds without being cold. I sit down and watch the sky for a while, hugging my knees, feeling the grass beneath my feet. Evening feels like a relief to me. Like I can finally exhale and relax. The world is quieting, and I can hear myself better, hear the world around me better, and I love to listen to something hidden, that silent voice in the sky.
The other evening I saw black clouds gather above the mountains, saw flashes of lightning. It was nice to watch the storm from afar. Yesterday the sky darkened early and there were thunderstorms going on for hours. Early in the morning, I woke up to the sound of water gurgling outside my window. It’s the most beautiful melody to me, and as I write now I breathe the scent of rain.
The Summer Solstice is approaching, and my birthday soon after. The brightest time of the year. June feels like wildflowers to me, like roses and a very bright sun.
I hope you’re enjoying this time of year, summer or winter.
Her soul seemed to have fallen asleep in that vast, silent landscape. She drew a deep breath, feeling a glimmer of a peace that surprised her. For a moment she could not remember her grief. The mountain had such an overpowering voice, that all else seemed to fall silent in its presence. Several places she rode past small black lakes that reflected the sky, the shifting clouds. She would stop for a moment, staring into them, their mirror-like surface, seeing her own reflection. A pale wide-eyed girl, blurring around the edges as a wind brushed past. She felt she was looking at a ghost. Or a very old memory. (From the book I’m working on. Maybe:)
I’m waiting for rain, and the sky is waiting also. And there is a cold gust of wind sometimes, and light. It keeps shifting. I’m starting to enjoy living in the heart of a small town. At first, I wanted to hide away, but now I rather enjoy watching life happening around me. To be in the ebb and flow of the day, people coming and going. And spring is lovely. There are so many colors, so many flowering trees. The snow is almost gone from the mountains. Winter seems far away now, and yet I remember walking through slush and rain, and dark days, early evenings, almost as though it was yesterday.
Behind the fence behind the bakery next to our apartment, there’s a small orchard of white flowering trees and one bright red one. I like pausing a little as I walk, to look into that slightly secret garden.
And there’s a tree on my way back from the shops that hug the side of a building. I’ve been watching it slowly turning green after winter, and now has white flowers, like lace spread over its branches.
Beautiful things sometimes hurt me a little, if I don’t share them.
Have I mentioned that I get up to the sound of church bells? A sweet chime lets me know that it’s 7 am, followed by an insistent ringing that I’m guessing means it’s time to get up. I’m not sure. But I get up anyway. And the sun is already spread across the mountains, the river, so it feels right to start my day.
It’s Easter week, and I feel sleepy. The days feel sleepy. I want to buy a chocolate egg, just because it reminds me of my childhood. Easter feels like pastel colors.
I’ve gone for walks and seen the moon like a white ghost in the sky. A fading memory of the night before. Sometimes I don’t see her at all, but feel her light on me. Even during the day. A full moon, a pink moon they call her. It makes me think of that pink, flowering tree I sometimes walk by. That smells sugary sweet even from a distance.
Really, I just want to close my eyes, curl up and rest. It’s raining now.
I write and write, go somewhere, I don’t know where, and then I look up and so much time has passed. It’s like I’ve stepped into another realm and out again. Time passes so quickly, the way it does when you’re asleep, dreaming. And I’m like no no…a little more time, please. I’m not ready to face the rest of the day, to step out of dreaming. But doing this, I also feel I’m practicing listening. So I try to listen during the rest of my day as well and see if I can settle into that core of something inside of me. A truth that balances me.
I could go into my writing space and not come out all day. Yesterday I shared a tender tidbit of something that came to me, on Instagram. I wanted to let you know that I’m working on a book, but I feel rather shy about it. I’m holding it close to my chest, and yet I also want to share more. Maybe slowly, step by step I will be a little braver.
In the early evening, as the sun sets, I go for a walk and I’m breathing in new life. Beauty. The world is brimming with new colors, and flowering trees I didn’t think I’d see again after moving from California. Pink magnolia trees that blossom with all their heart. It looks like a heart to me. A heart that doesn’t hold back, spreading all its beauty openly into the world.
And I walk by the crystal clear river and see the sun in it. I stop and look into the water. I walk down a few stone steps and sit on a stone bench and just listen to the flow of water, watching sunlight playing across its surface. The sun setting in the distances, slipping now and then behind dark gray clouds.
Sometimes when I go grocery shopping I take a long way back, just so I can cross over the river and see flowers in people’s gardens. The other day it kept raining, with the sun pushing through eventually. And I stood beneath a birch tree with tender new leaves, the sky gathering like a small storm behind it. But there was light also, falling over it. And the wonder of it stopped me in my tracks. I could only stare and feel wrapped in some strange, magic cloak.
There is something about Fridays, isn’t there? The day of the Goddess. It’s a bit more gentle, golden, like Freya herself. And maybe there’s a lightness spreading across the land, a looking forward to the weekend. A deep exhale.
Yesterday I watched this interview, and felt such a longing for the old gods, and remembered stories my mom told me. About Thor riding across the sky making thunder, and I could see it in my mind’s eye, making me shiver with the wild poetry of it. There is something about the old religion that sings to my bones, that makes me see mystery in the mountains, in the cold dark lakes of my homeland. Perhaps one day I will read the Poetic Edda myself. I want to.
And I’ve been reflecting on beauty, how feeling it deep inside of me can make me dream beautiful things at night. Flying above lush landscapes. What hurts me the most is when beauty, nature is being destroyed. It feels like we’re destroying our own soul along with the landscape around us. When instead we should be growing trees, flowers, gardens inside and out.
I’ve gone for long walks among pale yellow fields, among wildflowers gathered beneath trees, along fences. It was beautiful, except for the heavy metal music being played somewhere below, reaching me no matter how far I went. I wanted to be in silence. I reached for the mountains, the sky, wanted to hear bird song only. Oh well. This is what happens when you move back to civilization 🙂
I sat down on the ground, pulling off my shoes, breathing, breathing. I always feel slightly frayed at the end of the day, tired perhaps of fighting a battle with myself. I’m trying to understand it, a guilt about something, always something. And I want to be strong and clear on my path, knowing for sure that the gods are with me.
Now I will dream of flowers to plant together with a beautiful friend.
“Your will Father, not mine.” She trembled beneath the weight of those words, bowed her head, because she meant them, feared them. They felt like thunder, felt like she had given her life over to the north wind. But there was light also, there in the sky. A white, kind light that smiled at her, falling feather light around her, a soft summer breeze. Peace.
Following the will of the divine is something I yearn for, but it also frightens me. I feel it takes some courage, understanding, and one step at the time to get there. And also Elohim. What is it about this word that sends shivers through me? It feels so powerful somehow.
I greeted the sunrise on the Spring Equinox, gathered in a forest with friends, in a white stone circle. I sat for a moment before our ceremony, watching a white half moon between the trees. There were threads of the softest pink on the horizon. Then we all pulled on our robes, taking on our different roles. I was the Divine Mother, walking beside the initiate, the one who has to go through trials by fire, who carries the cross, carries the sun within. Everything was quietly somber at first, and then bright, beautiful. I gathered some things to reflect on, beauty and darkness showed to me, and I want to listen deeper, deeper. (It’s always a bit scary to me to share these things, but I want to. They touch me so deeply.)
Later I went for a forest walk with friends, feeling the warmth of spring. The world renewed. There were so many flowers of different shades, colored gems spread across the earth, violet, blue, white and gentle yellow. I felt the spirits of the forest whisper to me in some strange, old language. Felt laughter just beyond my hearing, just beyond my sight. And there were still large patches of snow that I sunk through, that glittered white in the sunlight. The air held a faint fragrance of sun-warmed moss and grass, and I brushed my hand against moss covered trees, against rough bark. Saw the blue sky through bare boned branches.
Wishing you a beautiful spring, or autumn. Wishing you love.
I didn’t know I was a writer. I didn’t know I had stories in my head when I looked at things, didn’t know I could have an outlet for everything I was feeling. I guess we all go through that, thinking everyone is seeing the world in the same way, and that we have no unique skills of our own. Nothing of value to offer, and that we can only do something creative if we’re uniquely skilled from the start. If our teacher had come over to us and proclaimed us a writer, an artist, a musician, etc. I was never particularly good at anything. There was always someone better than me, especially at writing, so I didn’t even consider being a writer. But I also had never found a way to use my own unique voice. And now I don’t think I can stop writing. It would make me too restless and sad. It’s a new and exciting path for me. One that I’m still learning about. And it’s made me a lot happier.
But I think I’m a listener more than a writer, really. I mean, that’s what I always went back to as a child, the listening. I was listening to the world, to the sky, to some voice that was no voice at all. More like a feeling perhaps. Or maybe this is what a writer is. And it’s what I most love to do above all, just simply sit, walk or stand and listen, feel into something unseen. Reach for something that I’ve forgotten, that some deep part of me still remembers.
On a different note….spring is almost here. The Spring Equinox is on Monday and I’m preparing for it with some friends. We’ve been gathering in a forest, and that’s my favorite part of it I think, being in a forest with friends.
Spring is gathering outside, filling the world with wildflowers. The other day I stood in the forest, a light, cool spring rain singing through the trees. It was just beautiful. I can still hear it, feel it, my face turned towards the sky.
There’s blue star shaped flowers on the ground, growing in blankets among the trees. I know this flower, if only through song. I know its white cousin very well because it filled the fields behind our house where I grew up, but the blue one never showed itself. It grew in other parts of Norway, (now I’ve moved to Slovenia). But my dad would sing a song about it, and I also sang it to him one day while we were walking by the river when he was feeling depressed. I wanted to remind him of beauty, of magic, of joy.
It’s a simple song. About someone receiving a bouquet of these blue flowers from a young girl in a forest. In return, he gives her a few coins to buy some chocolate, but as she happily skips away from him, he reflects that he has never before received such a rich gift, and in truth, it was she who was good towards him, not the other way around.
My dad would sing me different songs while growing up. One was about a girl living in a forest.
“I know a little girl, yes I know her so well, I know a little girl north in the woods.”
And my mom would sing about a girl who asks the southern wind to not touch the veil on her hatbecause she needs to look beautiful for her beloved.
“And the girl asked the southern wind, don’t touch the veil on my hat. It needs to be nice and clean for my beloved. With a hat with a veil and silken straw. A dress with lace along the neck, two white shoes with ribbons, and socks as clear as day.”
Silly little songs that I still remember, if only the first sentence of it. Hearing them again always brings me back to my childhood. Do you know songs like that?
I wanted to write about Iceland sooner. But then I got sick and life carried me along with it. What I will remember most is how it felt to return to the wild north. To be in a place somewhat untamed by people. The houses in the countryside seemed almost lost, swallowed uplike they didn’t quite belong among the fields and mountains. And I loved all the streams and rivers and small lakes that you could drink from. The fresh air, and the blue light of the mornings, and the smell of snow. I loved the steam that would rise up here and there from the ground. It was such a strange sight. And I liked seeing the small Icelandic horses along the road. The place was full of them.
I felt at home in Iceland. In Reykjavik, I went for a long walk along the ocean in the heavy snow that had fallen overnight. I always have to go to the ocean when I can. I like to stand and watch the horizon, to feel what might lie beyond it, and listen to the distant voice of the sea.
But now I’m back in Slovenia and waiting for the Spring Equinox. Everything is coming back to life. Can you feel it? Or perhaps autumn is coming to where you are, and you feel things falling away? Wishing you beauty, love, light.